For many truckers, trucks and diesel fuel go together like peanut butter and jelly. Diesel is the preferred fuel for large trucks, especially semis. For vehicles that carry heavy loads, the fuel type has several advantages over gasoline. Here are some of the reasons semi trucks should use diesel fuel to most efficiently transport heavy loads.
The Difference Between Diesel and Normal Gasoline
Diesel fuel and engines were developed in the 1890s by a man named Rudolph Diesel. His goal was to create an engine that used fuel efficiently. By the 1910s, trains, trucks and other powerful vehicles were starting to use these engines.
Gas engines require spark plugs for combustion, which gets the vehicle moving. Diesel engines, on the other hand, don’t have spark plugs. Instead, they use high-pressure injections of fuel into the cylinders to get combustion started. Turning the ignition sends fuel into the cylinders, where the diesel fuel creates a chemical reaction once it comes into contact with combusted air. This direct injection into the combustion chamber makes diesel engines more efficient.
This process provides the engine with enough power to move forward. Since engine combustion for diesel vehicles doesn’t take spark plugs, nearly any fuel can work in the engine. For instance, natural oils can take the place of diesel fuel and may be able to power a truck just the same.
Filling Up Your Truck
Semi trucks often have two saddle tanks instead of a typical gas tank, in order to fit 300 gallons or more needed for long drives carrying large amounts of cargo. To fill up your truck, you probably use truck pumps, which help you fill up fast. A normal gas pump works more slowly and has a smaller nozzle than a truck pump, so would take an incredibly long time to fill up a big-rig truck.
The Reasons To Use Diesel
The reason semi trucks use diesel is because this fuel is specifically designed to work with diesel engines to carry vehicles farther and with more power. One gallon of diesel fuel has a BTU of 147,000, which is much higher than gasoline’s BTU of 125,000. When it comes to trucks hauling several tons, this extra power makes a big difference. For the average consumer vehicle, on the other hand, that extra power doesn’t translate to extra efficiency because they carry relatively light loads.
This higher efficiency translates to a lower cost for fuel. It also means that drivers have to make fewer stops to refuel, which can be important in trucking jobs that have strict timeframes. The increased mileage allows drivers to go farther with less fuel.
Being a trucker means paying careful attention to state laws about truck loads. Planning a successful trip means taking the frequent weight checks into consideration while you’re driving cargo over long distances. Weight restrictions on your big rig can be inconvenient, but they’re designed to minimize stress on the roads from heavy vehicles passing over them.
Diesel can vary in weight, since the composition isn’t always exactly the same. It should weigh between 7.25 pounds and 7.5 pounds per gallon. Evaporation doesn’t affect the weight of diesel, so don’t figure that into your calculations. The standard maximum weight of a tractor trailer is 80,000, but special permits can increase this number. Because trucks have such large fuel tanks, diesel can meaningfully affect whether your truck fits in under the weight limit. Some truckers prefer to refuel after they pass a weigh station to avoid going over the limit.
Diesel fuel works with big semi trucks so they can get to their destinations with no problems. So you are ready to deal with other issues besides your diesel fuel, invest in your truck’s well-being by signing up for a trucking insurance plan. Contact Rev Insurance today for a plan that gives you security out on the road.